Off the Grid's Auditioning Aspiring Street-Food Vendors

The weekly evening street food event returns to Fort Mason Center on Friday

It's sort of — well, vaguely — like an episode of San Francisco's Next Top Food Truck. Matt Cohen, founder of the Off the Grid street-food gatherings, is in the process of putting together the lineup for Off the Grid's flagship Friday events at Fort Mason, which will begin again in late March. And they're taking applications for new vendors who are interested in occupying one of the 10 “tented” spaces — in other words, people who are selling from a stand, not a truck.

“This is our once-a-year opportunity for people thinking about doing something professional with street food,” Cohen says. “We want to get people interested in making a nine-month commitment, bringing in decent money, and turning their idea into a real thing.”

Off the Grid is looking primarily for people selling food with Asian or Latin flavors — traditional or tweaked — and Cohen says he's committed to helping first-timers navigate the regulatory process, just as OtG did last year with the Musubi Kings. “You'll need to work out of an approved commissary [otherwise known as a commercial kitchen] and have your food handling certificate,” he advises. For more information on this process, read through SFoodie's “going legit” series from last year. The online application is posted on Off the Grid's website, and the deadline is Friday.

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